Australian Labor leader to introduce same-sex marriage bill
The leader of the Australian Labor party is set to introduce a Private Members Bill to legalise same-sex marriage.
The Opposition leader Bill Shorten has said his party will move a bill to legalise same-sex marriage today.
Mr Shorten released a statement saying”It’s time for marriage equality”, and tweeted that the bill would “finally” implement same-sex marriage in Australia.
“I know this private members bill will not have the universal support of my colleagues,” Mr Shorten said in a statement.
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“It will challenge the deeply held personal beliefs of MPs and senators on both sides of politics.
“This is why Labor members have the freedom to vote their conscience, a freedom Tony Abbott is currently denying his party.”
“The world isn’t waiting for Tony Abbott and our parliament shouldn’t have to,” he continued.
Mr Shorten’s bill will go before the House of Representatives on Monday. He said he hoped to use the momentum of Ireland’s same-sex marriage referendum to help the Bill along.
The Bill is backed by Mr Shorten’s deputy Tanya Plibersek, who previously pushed for a whipped vote in favour of the measure. MPs and Senators will however be given a conscience vote on the issue.
The Australian Green Party is also pushing forward a Marriage Equality Bill, which will be debated in the Senate on 18 June, and will go to a vote on 12 November.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is among the politicians to rule out a referendum on same-sex marriage.
Measures to legalise same-sex marriage in Australia have failed in recent years.